Analyzing my Mechanics

Hi, my dad has been taking pictures of me while pitching, and I figured I could get some help from yall. I came here for some tips on my form. I am not having any problems throwing right now, just looking to improve in any way. I am not aware of any problems in my form right now. Just try and point me in the right direction, and I’ll work on the problems from there.

I know still pictures aren’t the best, so I’ll try and get some video footage. I have my doubts in that happening though.

Thanks in advance :smiley:

Sorry guy but, without video, we really can’t give anything productive. It would all be guesses. There are just too many frames missing between pics. A lot goes on in those gaps. How you get from one position to the next is vitally important. There are those on this board who will analyze and give recommendations with stills only but nearly all who have some experience with this stuff will agree that stills are almost useless for analyzing mechanics.

Most digital cameras have a video mode. Usually they are only in the 15 frames per second range, though. 30 fps is really the minimum for anything really useful.

it could just be me, but from wut i see in the pictures you could be leading with your front shoulder and upper body during your stride, instead of your hips.

W/O video and good views we are guessing. But , it appears on one of the photos that your front shoulder may be opening up too early. Look at your glove and front shoulder on landing?

Once again guessing without video and looking at stills are two different things. Chris will chime in I am sure, since he usually looks at stills and will predict if you will need surgery in a year or so.

Good luck!

I generally like what I see.

The only question I’d have is whether your velocity is a little below average.

In this picture I can see that you keep your elbow just below the level of your shoulder, which should help to protect your shoulder. Your timing also looks good. I don’t see any signs of rushing.

This picture also shows signs of good timing. Notice how early you get your pitching arm up.

From the pictures, your mechanics look decent (though I’d have to see video to confirm that). But here are a few things I noticed:

In the 3 pictures above, it appears you are leading with your shoulders instead of your hips. Leading with your shoulders will often result in a shorter stride which also causes the hips to open up sooner than they should. All of this leads to timing problems and more wear and tear on the arm. Leading with the hips will allow a longer stride, better separation of hips and shoulders, delayed shoulder rotation, and more explosive shoulder rotation all while using more of the body to throw and putting less stress on the arm.

The picture above would cause me to pay attention to your posture and release point. It could be that your release point is not out front as far as it could be. But this is just speculation because of the point at which the picture was taken. If your torso actually tracks forward before releasing the ball, then there is no issue. But if you release the ball from about the position you’re at in this picture, then your release point isn’t as close to home plate as it could be. In this case, I’d suspect a posture issue. I’d like to see your chin, chest, knee and foot all aligned vertically at release.

The above picture would pretty much confirm the posture issue. When the head and shoulders pull to the side, the release point gets pulled back.

Now, having said all of that, I have to qualify it by saying that it is mostly speculation based on still photos. I’d have to see video to confirm any of the issues I’ve identified.

I saw the same thing, which is why I asked about your velocity.

I’m not sure that you are getting good separation between your hips and your shoulders. Instead, you seem to be throwing too much with your arm and not enough with your body.

This picture below of Casey Fossum is a great example of what good separation and throwing with the body look like…

Woah, thanks for the quick repleys yall!

DM59: I’ll try and get some video footage here soon. Like you said, it will help a whole lot when trying to analyze my form.

Zforce: It seems to be so. As roger said, it would make my stride short. Which is excatly true. I always have problems with the holes on the mound and my foot slipping into them.

Baseballbum: Yeah, it looks like I nead to keep my shoulders closed longer. Thanks for the help.

Chris: Thanks, and actually it’s the opposite of what you think. I guess I need a video for yall to really evalutate. I’m throwing around 84 or so right now. Thanks for the help.

Roger: Like I said ealier, I do have a problem with a short stride. My old pitching instructer worked on me having a bigger stride, and a release point closer to the plate. It appears that I need to work on that again.

I’ll try to get some video footage.

[quote=“KidWithACrayon”]Chris: Thanks, and actually it’s the opposite of what you think. I guess I need a video for yall to really evalutate. I’m throwing around 84 or so right now. Thanks for the help.

Roger: Like I said ealier, I do have a problem with a short stride. My old pitching instructer worked on me having a bigger stride, and a release point closer to the plate. It appears that I need to work on that again. [/quote]

If your velocity is good and you don’t have a problem striking guys out, then I wouldn’t mess with your stride.

Trying to lengthen your stride will lower your release point and may cost you velocity. This is an idea of Tom House’s that I don’t think makes sense. My concern is that in an effort to release the ball closer to the plate, you could compromise your ability to get your hips rotating well before your shoulders. I also believe that keeping the release point high could be as important as releasing the ball close to the plate.

So what do you suggest I do? Just keep my shoulders closed for a little longer?

yea i would sugjest that… think of it as building up energy, then at the last second letting it go. Also you should find more velocity and less stress on your arm… thats what happened when i found out i had the same problem last month.


This is the one thing that all successful pitchers do well. It’s also something that pretty much every pitching guru agrees on.

The beauty of this is that it will boost your velocity but also reduce the load on your arm because you will be getting velocity from the large muscles of your body rather than the small muscles of your shoulder. It should also improve your control.

A couple of discussion points here:

(1) Release Point - higher or closer to home?

Some people think that a higher release point is better because it allows you to throw down at more of an angle which supposedly makes the pitch harder to hit as the pitch is crossing the path of the bat more and staying aligned with the path of the bat less.

Some people think that a release point that is closer to home is better because it gives the batter less time to see and react to the pitch. So which is correct? Well, the better question is probably which has the most significant effect on the batter?

Some will argue that the difference in height of a pitcher’s release point when thrown high or not is a small difference when compared to the distance from the release point to home plate and that the difference in the resulting angles is insignificant. Others will argue that the difference in distance from release point to home plate between a release point that is optimally close or not is also insignificant. Either way, it may also depend on the batter and what his strengths and weaknesses are.

(2) Hip rotation versus release point close to home.

Certainly one does not want to compromise hip rotation. Nor shoulder rotation. Any aspect of the pitcher’s mechanics can be taken too far compromising other aspects of the mechanics. So we’re not after that. But what is necessary for optimal hip rotation? Optional shoulder rotation? Can one rotate optimally with the posture tilted to one side? Do the shoulders rotate optimally around a tilted spine or around an upright spine? Could it be that sacrificing posture for the sake of a higher release point compromises shoulder rotation? I’m not sure but I tend to believe it does.

Off topic, but, you play for the McKinney Marshalls?

Hey Kid Crayon this is something I worked with my 13yr old. He was flying open with his front shoulder. Like in these photos.

this is a 12 yr old photo


He currently keeps his front shoulder closed a bit longer and it has helped immensely. Now when his pitch count is up there and he wants to add some MPH to his fastball he sometimes resorts to opening that front shoulder up!

Good Luck and keep us posted!

Thanks for the help again yall. So when I keep my shoulder closed longer, will it take a few mph off my ball? I’m just kind of confused on how you worded that baseballbum. We don’t have a tournament this weekend, so I won’t be pitching until tuesday most likely. Which is fine with me because this past week or two I have been pitching a whole lot and need the rest.

Yes, I do play for the Mckinney Marshalls in the summer league. I play for Flower Mound High School other than that. You know either one?

I’ll try and get a video here soon so yall can actually see me pitch instead of still photos.

No, it will give you a few MPH.

What’s leeping your shoulder closed?whats it mean? Like taking longer for your shoulders to rotate to throw?

waits for the infamous Casey Fossum picture :lol:


It means keeping your shoulders sideways to the plate as your hips open up to face the plate. This stretches the muscles of the torso and enables them to powerfully pull the shoulders around. That’s what people mean when they talk about throwing with your body and not just your arm.

This picture of Danny Haren is an example of what this looks like…

Notice how his belt buckle is facing the plate while his shoulders are still sideways to the plate.

Psych kc86. :wink:

Of course, so is this picture of Casey Fossum…